Is this a site for prospective writers to come and ask for significant help writing a book, or should such questions be more appropriately addressed at the Writer's SE site? Specifically, I found this question here (now closed and deleted) : I want to write sci-fi stories are there any Resources, Guidelines, Writing Strategies
No, this site is for science fiction enthusiasts. An enthusiast is someone who has a strong interest in an activity — that is, a consumer.
If a person's interest lie in creating literature (of whatever type), please direct them to the Writers Stack Exchange.
Update from the future: Worldbuilding.SE now exists, and would love to have some of these questions (but not all of them!). These questions actually form a pretty broad category, so we need to break them down a bit in order to explain what gets asked where.
- If you're trying to write new stories set in some existing, published continuity, and are confused about some detail of that franchise, you can and should ask about them here (on Sci-fi & Fantasy).
- This also works for questions about the history of the genre (e.g. "What was the first time travel story?"), but take care that your question is not overly broad ("What are some early time travel stories?"). If not asking a genre-wide question, make sure the franchise you are asking about is reasonably clear.
- If you're doing this professionally, you may have access to internal reference materials which are not generally available. Consult those first, if possible. We'd love to answer your question, but we can't cite or refer to things which are not public, so any answer we give might be incomplete.
- If you're creating a new universe from scratch, and you're getting hung up on some particular detail (e.g. "How do dragons breathe fire?" "Why do they kidnap princesses?" etc.), Worldbuilding may be a good fit.
- Make sure to specify the kind of story you are writing. There are effectively unlimited reasons for dragons to kidnap princesses; you need to narrow them down by describing your dragons and your princesses (e.g. Are the dragons intelligent? Are the princesses rulers or figureheads? For what plot-related reason do you want a dragon to kidnap a princess?).
- If you're struggling with a more writing-related problem, like plot or character development, Writers is a better place to turn.
- Always indicate your target audience for these questions. If you're writing for your own pleasure, the answers are going to be very different from when you're writing for professional publication. It also helps to provide a sample of your writing, but don't just ask for generalized critique - identify a specific concern.
- Questions about mechanics (grammar, diction, etc.) are probably more appropriate for English Language & Usage.
- For other questions, consult the /help/on-topic page for each Stack and try to find the best fit.
- For all of the above, your question should be carefully thought out, show your existing research efforts, and explain in detail the specific point where you are having trouble.
I'm going to make a case for allowing limited writing questions on this site, and see how it stands. There are certain elements which are unique to scifi/fantasy. For instance, ways of magical creation. Methods for traveling the galaxy. Ways to terraform a planet. These and many more might just fit the bill, if we can only massage them a bit. But anything that is very generic to writing (Plot, characters, etc) should be sent off to the writers camp.